European Platform Against Trafficking in Human Beings

New publication

Joint statement on agri-food workers

Document number
3358
Date
17 April 2020
Title
Joint statement on agri-food workers
Author/publisher
PICUM and partners
Availability
View/save PDF version of this document
Document type(s)
Guidelines/Recommendations,
Keywords
#fairCAP #migrantworkers #Covid19
Summary

28 organisations are calling for urgent measures and structural reforms to address the impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic on EU agriculture and agri-food workers.

The joint statement highlights that the labour shortages demonstrate how European agriculture depends to a large extent on migrant workers, many undocumented, who make up a significant proportion of those picking our fruits and vegetables as well as packing and processing our food. What the lack of workers in the fields should also demonstrate is that labour conditions in the agri-food sector have been ignored for too long.

The pandemic presents the EU with an opportunity to overhaul its agricultural and food system to make it both greener and more rights-compliant, with fairer supply chains, adequate prices for both farmers and consumers, and guaranteed labour rights for workers.

It puts forward the following six actions in particular:

  1. Address the situation of agri-food workers as a matter of urgency during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Transform the new CAP to make it both socially and environmentally sustainable.
  3. Include a focus on workers in the Farm to Fork Strategy.
  4. Ensure full access to declared employment for migrant and refugee workers.
  5. Improve functioning of work permit routes for non-EU migrants to reach Europe and enforce respect for migrant and refugee workers’ rights.
  6. Roll out mandatory EU legislation on human rights and environmental due diligence.